Techcrunch is at the Google “partner event” in NYC today and as expected Google has annoucned its NFC payment initiative, Google Wallet, with partners Citi, Mastercard, FirstData, and Sprint. Stephanie Tilenius, Google’s VP of Commerce, also introduced Google Offers which allows consumers to redeme coupons from and initial roster of retailers including Macy’s, Subway, Walgreens, and Toys R Us.
“With Wallet, you’ll be able to add your existing credit cards (though only Citi-backed Mastercards are a partner right now of the major card companies). And it’s a wallet you can lock, Tilenius notes. There are multiple levels of security. There’s the phone lock, a required Google pin, credit card information encryption, and your credit card number is never fully displayed.
Right off the bat, Google Wallet will work with Mastercard Paypass. This means right now 300,000 merchants around the world and 120,000 in the U.S. are technically ready (though it’s not rolling out everywhere yet). It will initially work with “Gcard” a Google pre-paid card set up by Mastercard.”
Quotes from Gigaom:
“We believe the shopping experience hasn’t yet been transformed by technology or offered a truly magical experience,” said Stephanie Tilenius vice president of commerce at Google. “With smartphone technology and NFC we are about to embark on a new era of commerce where we bring offline and online together.”
“We think we’ve created a compelling model for why NFC should exist in the market,” he said. “This is about creating an open standard and compelling model and value proposition and asking people to join.”
From the Google blog:
“Google Wallet is a key part of our ongoing effort to improve shopping for both businesses and consumers. It’s aimed at making it easier for you to pay for and save on the goods you want, while giving merchants more ways to offer coupons and loyalty programs to customers, as well as bridging the gap between online and offline commerce. “